Megalopolis will start shooting this year – and has its all-star cast in place

Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker and Laurence Fishburne are all confirmed for Megalopolis

Described as ‘Francis Ford Coppola’s $100m gamble’, the Godfather’s director’s long-gestated, self-funded movie epic Megalopolis has already acquired a mythical status in Hollywood.

A passion project the 83-year-old has been planning since the time he made Apocalypse Now – that’s the late 70s, kids – was originally conceived as an ensemble piece about a post-financial crisis New York City, and almost got underway back in 2001 until the September 11 acts intervened.

With admirable persistence, the now 83-year-old Coppola has refused to let go of the idea and this week, casting for Megalopolis was finally announced with the confirmation that (deep breath) Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight and Nathalie Emmanuel – last seen being beheaded at the gates of King’s Landing – are all joining the project.

Various starry names have been unofficially attached to Megalopolis over the years, from Robert De Niro and Nicolas Cage in the 2000s to more recently, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Cate Blanchett and James Caan. Now it seems either those suggestions were wide of the mark or – more tantalisingly – that we could yet see some combination of them as more names are linked to the film, which would surely make Megalopolis the most impressive / bonkers casting lineup of all time.

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Shooting later this year, Coppola has described the project most recently as a contemporary drama focused on “the fate of Rome as it haunts a modern world unable to solve its social problems in an epic story of political ambition, genius, and conflicting interests.”

“There’s a certain way everyone thinks a film should be,” Coppola told The Hollywood Reporter about funding the film himself from the small fortune he has made from his wine business, “and it rubs against the grain if you have another idea. People can be very unaccepting, but sometimes the other idea represents what’s coming in the future. That is worthy of being considered.”

A last career masterpiece from one of the few truly great auteurs, or a bloated white elephant that stomps all over his legacy? We’re naturally rooting for the former, but it’s going to be a wild ride either way.

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Cliff Morton


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